By Sarah Mazirwe – Kampala, Uganda, Friday, May 29, 2020.
Uganda’s opposition has rejected the proposition led by the ruling party, National Resistance Movement (NRM) headed by President Yoweri Museveni to have 2021 elections determined by scientists.
Museveni thinks the decision to hold 2021 elections will depend on the advice of scientists working to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, NRM Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba said in an Inter-Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) meeting in the capital, Kampala on Wednesday.
Kasule said major electoral activities have been affected by the pandemic and electoral calendar has been disrupted.
IPOD platform brings together all political parties with representatives in Parliament.
The party president of Uganda’s main opposition party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Patrick Oboi said the elections should be determined by key stakeholders including political parties but not scientists.
The deputy president of another opposition party; Democratic Party (DP), Mukasa Mbidde said “We’ve had diseases like Malaria that has led to the death of Ugandans but we have never had an extension of elections. COVID-19 on the other hand has not led to the death of any Ugandans in the country, so why should we panic,?
The opposition wants NRM to respect the electoral calendar for the next elections that was designed by Uganda’s Electoral Commission to have elections early next year.
Towards the beginning of the lockdown, according to the calendar, Ugandans were already verifying their names in the voters’ registrar.
So far, 9 electoral weeks of the calendar have been lost. Uganda goes for polls every after five-year term.
Recently, President Museveni said it would be madness to hold elections when the pandemic is still around.
JEEMA’s president, Asuman Basalirwa said Museveni and scientists can only advise since elections are determined by the supreme Constitution and other electoral laws but not scientists.